Ansel and Clair Cretaceous Dinosaurs

Ansel and Clair Cretaceous Dinosaurs

by Cognitive Kid

Like most parents or educators we want to share and explore the world with our children, but it may not necessarily be to places that we can easily get too. Instead of getting on an airplane or driving a car, children can now take part in a virtual field trip to just about anywhere. Has your early elementary student had a chance to explore the Africa desert with virtual friends, Ansel and Clair? Around this time last year, Cognitive Kid launched Ansel and Clair’s Adventures in Africa for your iPad device but as of late has added the ability to explore and visit Africa via your iPhone device as well. We were impressed with this series then and are excited to share that a new virtual experience has been added to their collection list, Ansel and Clair Cretaceous Dinosaurs for your iPad device. This is the first in a trilogy series of Ansel and Clair Adventures which focuses on exploring different dinosaur periods: Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous. Come visit an official dig site, ask questions of a paleontologist as your son or daughter interacts with their mobile device. As your child or student explores the cretaceous period they will travel back in time with adorable characters and a “zippy” spaceship to broaden their knowledge and build their vocabulary while having a ton of fun!

This educational app could not have come at a more appropriate time in our household. My 6 year old son had library today and what type of book did he come home with…an encyclopedia of dinosaurs. A book which has 127 pages, he worried that we might not be able to finish the book in time before having to return it to his school library. His worry was quickly put to ease when I mentioned our recent download, Ansel and Clair Cretaceous Dinosaurs to my iPad device. It is an educational app which puts your child at the center of it all. Simply borrow a fossil from Dr. Lindy Bones in order to get your spaceship moving around the world. While spinning the globe, see what the world looked like before it was broken into the continents that we know today. As your child embarks on this imaginative and educational adventure, join Ansel and Clair as they go beneath the ground to find more fossils of the cretaceous period while reinforcing various fine motor skills. Tap with one or two fingers or swipe from side to side in order to explore and play. In doing so, your child(ren) or students will feel as though they have a chisel, hammer or brush at their finger tips. Once all the tools have been used and the fossil is revealed, piece the dinosaur back together like a puzzle and see the environment where such dinosaurs as: Tyrannosaurus Rex, Velociraptor, Kosmoceratops and Oviraptor lived billions of years ago. Hold on tight, because here we go!

As your child(ren) or student(s) go on this adventure they will become critical thinkers with the help of Ansel and Clair. Your elementary students earth science unit or textbook just stepped into the 21st century. Developers have included a great deal of support through both visual and verbal directions. Those items on a page which provide factual information are clearly marked with a magnifying play button or checkmark. In addition, many of the dinosaur names are challenging for our target audience or even an adult to say, so developers have also included a syllable break down just underneath each reptiles name. Since this is like no other journey, your child will be equipped with a backpack which has all the essentials, a camera and a journal. Take as many pictures as you would like, however, your journal does have certain requirements. A note to the developers – might it be possible at the completion of ones journal to be able to tap on pictures within those pages, as a way to share new information or even a recall quiz like question(s) for comprehension. Ansel and Clair do an amazing job at sharing new information and building your child’s vocabulary, the opportunities for extended conversations and further investigation are amazing. As they learn and develop their filing system of knowledge, your child will also be interacting with those from the cretaceous period as they collect stickers, see a volcano erupt, watch a meteor show and care for Maiasaura’s eggs.

Overall, we loved this first in the series dinosaur application, Ansel and Clair Cretaceous Dinosaurs and look forward to learning more about the Jurassic and Triassic periods in the coming months. Whether you have a little paleontologist on your hands or need to spruce up your earth science unit, the educational apps that Cognitive Kid have to offer are worth the download. With all the information that is shared however, we would love to see in a future update the incorporation of speech bubble that highlight as each character reads. With this differentiation, Ansel and Clair’s Dinosaur Adventure scientific application will be able to support all learning styles along their travels.

If you would like to learn more about Cognitive Kid, please visit their website here. To start digging on your first archeological adventure, simply click here to download Ansel and Clair Cretaceous Dinosaurs to your iTunes library for $1.99 today!

This review will be featured on Fun Educational Apps site along with many other detailed reviews.

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iLearn With – Planet Boing HD

iLearn With – Planet Boing! HD

by Tribal Nova

As we near our 200th educational app review, we are pleased to share with our readers the latest and greatest things that development group, Tribal Nova has to offer your preschooler to kindergartener. Tribal Nova is no stranger to the app world, with several iLearn With educational series already on the market: Seasons, Counting & Addition, and Mighty Jungle Animals. In each, users play and learn alongside kid friendly characters, Poko, Bibi, Babu and Mr. Murphy. As of late, this friend list is growing as your child visits the Planet Boing. Planet Boing HD is like the “hub station” that connects all the educational series in one central location as it tracks and reports your child’s progress. As your child builds essential skills in math, science, language and literacy to name a few, they will be encouraged and rewarded through a variety of game break type activities. As our own resident expert explored, all we could hear were “hoops, hollers and oh ya’s”. Planet Boing HD is a free download to your iPad device and runs on those devices with an iOS of 4.0 or later.

Upon entering Planet Boing HD, parents or educators will want to establish an account, a total of four can be created. Each account is associated with an avatar or icon and that child’s birthday. Depending on the number of devices in a school or home environment, the ability to switch accounts is very easy. Planet Boing HD was designed to meet the academic needs of children ages 3-6, but it also meets the “gaming for a reason” requirements of both parents and educators. From the main menu of Planet Boing HD, children are able to see not only their avatar but a colored tracking bar. This indicates their success based on those academic skills experienced. In addition, a new reporting feature is now associated with most iLearn With educational app series. An adorable eye winking bumble bee indicates that a particular series is connected to Planet Boing HD. Parents and educators can now see how their child(ren) are virtually growing while they play with Poko, Bibi, Mr. Murphy and their friends from Ice Land Adventures, a new literacy application now available. See what is “buzzing” around as your child games for a reason. The iLearn With “academic trees” are currently broken into four categories: Math, Literacy, Science and Language. Branches of each of these trees indicates which games will reinforce specific skills. By simply selecting a section of a branch, additional information is provided of those skills played/not played and the user’s level of success. If an educator or parent feels that a particular skill needs reinforcing, users can immediately access it by clicking the play button.

Whether your child is developing their understanding of phonics, letters, days of the week, weather, numbers or operations, a little “down time” is always a nice reward. Such down time would be to design your very own alien within Planet Boing HD. Aliens can be customized in a variety of ways through a roller deck of options. Such options include: altering their aliens hands, feet, eyes, nose, and accessories. Initially this roller deck is pre-installed with items, but to increase those options, users must play within the iLearn With educational app series. At an early age, they will be learning that you can’t get something for nothing! By simply tapping a needed item, users are then connected to a particular iLearn With app series. Through leveled progress activities in science, math and literacy, users will earn or unlock new customizations. Once items are earned, users can then go on a psychedelic like ride as they zip along the planet’s floor to unknown places in the sky.

At this time, Planet Boing HD is linked in with reporting features to the following iLearn With series:

iLearn With Poko: Seasons is an application which develops ones vocabulary as your child learns the essentials to the seasons and weather. Here are the skills that will be uncovered.

✔ Game 1: Weather conditions – Learn to distinguish seasons and weather conditions by comparing different pictures.
✔ Game 2: What to wear – Find Poko and Bibi’s clothes and objects that do not fit weather conditions.
✔ Game 3: Days and activities – Explore week days and match the right activities to the weather conditions.

iLearn With Poko: Addition is an application which encompasses both numbers and early addition facts. Here are the skills that will be uncovered.

✔ Game 1: Bowling – Count and add up to 6 bowling pins by playing with Poko and Minus.
✔ Game 2: Building blocks – Help Poko, Bibi and Minus group sets of blocks and learn to add up to 10.
✔ Game 3: Poko’s toys – Find all the objects Poko is looking for in his room and learn to add up to 15.

iLearn With Ice Land Adventures is the newest addition to the iLearn With series and builds your child’s knowledge of letters, phonics and words.

✔ Game 1: Letters – Learn upper-case and lower-case letters as well as their names.
✔ Game 2: Phonics – Compose syllables by combining vowels and consonants.
✔ Game 3: Words – Spell words by placing letters in the correct order.

As you can see Tribal Nova has been hard at work to make their educational apps meet the needs of our school age children. Through vibrant graphics, familiar characters as seen on TV, clear and concise directions, a great deal of repetition and reinforcements, your child will be saying “iLearned With” and had fun while do so. Overall, we love the recent updates and additions that Tribal Nova has offered to our iPad device. In the coming weeks, see additional branches of learning that will be offered on Planet Boing HD. The three iLearn With series briefly mentioned above can be downloaded to your iTunes library for $2.99, however, keep your eyes open for future sale prices. To learn more about Tribal Nova, please visit their website here. If you are interested in making a full educational connection and management system for your child’s learning, then be sure to add Planet Boing HD to your device today by simply clicking here.

A disclaimer that should be shared with my readers is that Applicable2U was a part of the pedagogical design of iLearn With – Ice Land Adventures HD and Planet Boing HD.

Move the Turtle

Move the Turtle

by Next is Great

Are you a computer geek that loves programming or are you a classroom teacher instructing on such skills as angles, measurement and two dimensional geometry? If you answered yes to either these, then you have come to the right educational app review. We are no stranger to educational app developers, Next is Great and we are pleased to add to our collection of reviews their latest addition, Move the Turtle. Regardless of which mathematical program your school district is using, we are quite certain that it is a program that builds understanding over a period of time. This understanding comes as informal and formal exposure while also integrating direction instruction. Move the Turtle is a mathematical app for students in their early to late elementary years. Recently it was featured in the App Store in the New and Noteworthy for Education. It is compatible for all Apple devices running iOS 4.2 or later. As your child(ren) works alongside an adult or independently with a ruler, various directions and a pencil, they will soon become a coding guru.

With many school districts moving towards the Common Core State Standards and implementing mobile devices, the purchasing of educational apps is certainly under debate. When educational apps come at a cost, both educators and parents want to feel confident that their child(ren) and/or students will be gaming for a reason. A purchased app needs to not only engage the user, but it also needs to introduce, reinforce and/or challenge the target population. Technology is an essential tool that should be used strategically in any mathematics curriculum. Next is Great and Move the Turtle is certainly making this happen. Move the Turtle is based on the mathematical idea of Logo. Logo was created in 1967 by a Cambridge, Massachusetts firm. Logo gives students the opportunity to be introduced to basic programming or coding skills. Through a few simple step by step commands your “turtle cursor” will be able to draw geometric shapes and patterns, while also reinforcing angles. When looking at the standards for children as young as kindergarten they are expected to “identify and describe shapes, as well as to analyze, compare, create and compose shapes.” Over a student’s elementary years, this same curriculum expectation is expanded upon for a deeper understanding.

With the ability to create what appears to be an unlimited number of accounts, users will be able to unlock a multitude of rewards as they play and learn within three chapters: Let’s Move, A Little Bit of Magic, and Professor Turtle. Chapters are broken into tasks which teaches and builds upon various commands such as: move, turn, pen, color, repeat, sound, position and conditions. It is important to note that there are no audio directions, just verbal/pictorial pop up menus which can support the user as moves are made. As you keep this in mind, this will determine if adult supervision will be necessary. Once it is time to “move the turtle”, the users screen will be divided into two areas. The first being the chalkboard building area which is equipped with a ruler along each X and Y axis. The left side is designated for reviewing and selecting specific commands in order to complete individual tasks. In order to put your commands/steps to the test, simply click the play button underneath your chalkboard. If tasks are considered incomplete, additional opportunities to succeed will be provided. When tasks are completed, young coders will earn 1-3 stars within each level. As rewards are earned, additional levels are revealed. As you progress through levels, tasks become more complicated, but build on previous tasks for further reinforcement. As most people know, turtles are very slow moving, but in this educational app, your turtle can move in three different ways: slow, medium and super fast. Come see what happens when these options are altered.

Once commands are learned compose and save your own creations to your devices library. In addition, developers have also included a nice library of pre-made lessons. A note to the developers – is it possible to share newly made creations with other Move the Turtle followers? It would be greatly if your website had the option to upload and share projects in order to see how others are using this educational app.

Overall, we love this educational app and plan to install it on our new iPads arriving this summer. For only $2.99, it is an educational app worth purchasing. Put your thinking skills to the test and become a coding geek. If you would like to learn more Next is Great, please visit their website here. To get your turtle moving today, simply click here to download Move the Turtle to your iTunes library.

This review is also featured on Fun Educational Apps site along with many other detailed reviews.

Go Go Xylo

Go Go Xylo

by Barrett Productions, LLC

There is one thing that I am not and that is musically inclined. However, today I wish that I was. Our next review is not based on reading a book, coloring, matching or the improvement of one’s mathematical skills, but rather the sounds that you can make with your mobile device. A short time ago we were introduced to Barrett Productions, a development group that has been producing mobile apps along with many other products since 2007. Recently updated in the App Store is their latest musical creation, Go Go Xylo which is compatible with various Apple devices but does require iOS 5.0 or later. Come play with this virtual xylophone, along with many other instruments in a variety of ways. With every tap of your finger, a well tuned instrument will sing. What’s the point of buying a real xylophone when you can get an amazing one for your Apple device for FREE. Just be sure to download it soon as this price is a limited time offer.

Upon entering Go Go Xylo users will immediately notice the brilliant colors and 3D animation that is incorporated. As the conductor of your band, your main screen is equipped with a harp, bells, drums, saxophone, trumpet and of course a xylophone. Let the jam session begin by simply tapping or dragging your fingers across the screen. Yes, I said fingers!! You can play multiple instruments at one time. As the user, if you have a musical ear then you will want to explore the red clef button just under the saxophone. Here users will be able to change the key that instruments will play in (C, D, E, F and so forth) as well as the essential musical relationship between major and minor scales. If confused on how to explore or where to begin, simply click the question mark button as pop up directions will appear. It also includes a brief instructional YouTube video which will require internet access in order to view. If your band of instruments are getting out of hand or too loud, simply click the horns in the upper right hand corner. It is here that users can alter the volume to both the xylophone and the accompaniment.

When downloading Go Go Xylo it comes pre-installed with three songs: Baa, Baa, Black Sheep, Blue Danube Waltz, and Old MacDonald. Additional songs can be loaded to your devices library as in-app purchases. Currently the downloadable library consists of Children and Classical songs. Purchases can be made individually or as a group, ranging from .99¢ to $2.99. After choosing a song, as the conductor your view changes from seeing the entire band to just the sheet music of that song. As the tone deaf reviewer, I was slightly overwhelmed with all the buttons at the top: Mode (easy/hard), Tempo (normal/slow), xylo (on/off), vocals (on/off), and accompaniment (on/off). I was unsure as to what they all did, however, like the free play mode, the question mark just under the sheet music provided a brief tutorial. Once we set our mode to easy and our tempo to slow, it was like playing musical Simon Says. To begin, simply click the play button and notes on the sheet music and the keys on the xylophone will begin to highlight. Listen to the song the whole way through or start and stop it at any time. See what happens if you try playing the song from memory without any support. A note to the developers – although the xylophone does have the lettered notes on each key, might it be possible to include its coordinating musical note as well on the xylophone. This additional notes support could be an available option which is turned on/off based on the users need.

Go Go Xylo is a wonderful download for any home or school device. In looking at our district benchmarks, third graders study physical science which relates to sound. The integration of Go Go Xylo could really enhance a variety of classroom environments. Our review is based on exploration with an iPad and by having the large screen and the feeling like you are making music in your lap was incredible. Integrated arts is an essential component to a child’s education. Children shine in many ways and the arts is one of them. Barrett Productions is supporting this cause interactively via your mobile device.

If you would like to learn more about Barrett Productions, please visit their website here. Whether you are a musician or not, it’s time to Go Go Xylo and have a little fun. Step outside the box and see how your mobile device can meet the musical side of yourself, child or students. Take advantage of this wonderful FREE offer that Barrett Productions is providing today, simply click here to begin downloading Go Go Xylo.

This review is also featured on the Fun Educational Apps site along with many other educational apps.

Woozzle Wood Puzzle for Toddlers

Woozzle Wood Puzzle for Toddlers

by Swan Soft

The moment you come home from the hospital with your bundle(s) of joy, your world completely changes. Your organized, clean, adult like home takes on a whole new persona from year to year. As your little one(s) grow, so do their toys. Amazingly, toys encourage children to manipulate, explore and imagine. No matter how they play and learn, toddlers and preschoolers will be building and reinforcing their vocabulary, making connections wherever they go. On a daily basis do you find random pieces, unsure as to where they belong? Well now you can control some of those pieces as your child(ren) plays on their mobile device.  From the developers of Swam Soft, Woozzle Wood Puzzles for Toddlers was recently updated for your Apple device running iOS 4.0 or later.  Have your toddler or pre-schooler piece back together 24 familiar objects from automobiles, food, animals and toys.

Put your real world Melissa and Doug puzzle boards into one interactive application.  Woozzle Wood Puzzle is very easy to navigate for the youngest of fingers.  Upon entering, users will be presented with a main menu filled with colorfully decorated wooden squares.  As puzzles are chosen by the user, they will magically break apart into several pieces.  With appealing sounds, your child will feel like they have just shaken, rattled and rolled their puzzle  apart.  Your “work table” screen will have an etched out image which your child must fill and match with colored pieces from the bottom.  Simply scroll, drag, and drop into place.  As pieces are dropped correctly they will lock into place.  However, if incorrectly placed they will bounce back to the bottom of the screen.  Your child will be amazed at how puzzle pieces will merge together as one as smiles light up their faces when they are verbally rewarded.  Verbal reinforcements can be set in 10 different languages ranging from English, French, Dutch, Japanese and Italian.  A note to the developers – as puzzles are built, might it also be possible to incorporate the spoken vocabulary word as well.  By integrating this into the application, users will be making both a visual and auditory connection through their manipulation.  Since Woozzle Wood Puzzle’s is also targeted towards pre-schoolers, we wondered if an option might be added to the “settings” which would allow users to shake their device, making sized pieces different.  Through this incorporation, users would begin to develop their critical thinking and problem solving skills.

Overall, Woozzle Wood Puzzles for Toddlers is engaging as it has a great deal of potential in future updates.  If you would like to learn more about the developers from Swan Soft, please visit their website here. Currently, Woozzle Wood Puzzles can be downloaded and added to your iTunes library of apps for .99¢ by simply clicking here. If your little one just can’t get enough Woozzle Puzzle time, then be sure to download their free coloring book as well here.

This review is also featured at Fun Educational Apps site.  Visit their site to read this and many more educational app reviews.